Senior Warriors' forward Ben Murdoch-Masila admits the team has a problem translating training ground work into game day output, which is a key reason for their inconsistent 2021 campaign.
After three solid performances to start the season, with two wins and a close loss to the Knights, the Warriors have been hit or miss since then.
They've had some impressive moments, particularly against the Dragons, Raiders and Cowboys, but have also been erratic, yet to record consecutive victories this season.
Last Sunday's game was another frustrating example, as they couldn't build on a 20-12 second half lead and instead unravelled, shipping five unanswered tries.
"We seem to get it right one week and then the next week fall off the mark and that's not good if we want to be a contending team," said Murdoch-Masila.
"It seems we're falling into a bit of a pattern. We will go good one or two weeks and then kind of get comfortable and we fall off and it takes that loss to get us going again."
Achieving consistency is never easy in the NRL, and it has been a perennial problem for the Warriors for much of the last decade.
Murdoch-Masila is new to the environment but says the secrets to success don't change.
"We need good, strong leaders," said Murdoch-Masila. "People that drive what we train. What we need to do is take what we've practiced during the week, into the game, where I don't think we've been doing that lately."
"We probably do, maybe once or twice a week and then we fall off the board so whatever we learn in our team meetings and on the practice pitch, we need to take it into the games.
"We are supposed to do specific stuff, trying to get at players, or do certain moves or structures, we're just not really hitting that mark in the game."
Murdoch-Masila should make a difference against the Eels this week(Sunday 4pm NZT), returning after a head knock suffered in a collision with Cowboy's forward Jason Taumalolo.
"I probably could have played last week but [the coach] told me to have a week off and recover well," said Muroch-Masila. "That was actually the first time I've been out cold. To make myself feel better, I keep telling myself it took the best player in the world to knock me out."
Murdoch-Masila was sorely missed last Sunday. Along with fellow Tongans Addin-Fonua Blake and Eliesa Katoa, Murdoch brings a point of difference, with size and power that is hard to handle.
There were doubts over his ability to transition back to the NRL – after five seasons in Super League – but the 30-year-old has proved a great buy.
He's managed four tries and five-line breaks in eight games and is averaging 70 running metres a week from his 40-minute spells.
"Each time I play, I feel a lot better," said Murdoch-Masila of his adjustment to the pace of the NRL. "It's just a matter of managing what I do on the field so I'm always pushing myself. I'm pretty keen to stay on the field and do my bit for the team, but obviously it's a bit different over here from what I'm used to."
After experiencing several Magic rounds in the United Kingdom, Murdoch-Masila is looking forward to the Australian version.
"We used to play in some pretty cool stadiums in Super League, Anfield, Newcastle, said Murdoch-Masila. "It's a good entertaining weekend, so pretty excited."
Murdoch-Masila revealed that roommate Fonua-Blake is back training, after knee surgery in April, though the prop's playing return may still be weeks away.
"I'm not too sure on the specifics but he is out the field now running," said Murdoch-Masila. "I'm not too sure on the physios and medical side of things, but he's looking good."